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What's average sailing yacht skipper salary?

capnsensible

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The question is: How much do they earn?

.
The op question is. But that's clearly not the post I am addressing. 🤔

However, Mebbe a better question is 'can a reasonable living be made'. The answer to that is of course, like any smal business. As long as you are prepared to work hard, be able to deal with an ever changing public and be very good at what you do. 😎
 

duncan99210

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How is it tax free?
Super yachts are typically owned and registered offshore. Crew wages are paid from by an offshore company and provided crew members don’t spend more than a set number of days in any one country, then they are paid tax free. However, that won’t work if you’re aiming to operate as a charter yacht skipper. You’d be liable for tax in whatever country you based yourself in.
 

penberth3

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How is it tax free?
It isn't really, it only means you're paid gross and you'll still have a liability somewhere. It's an easy way to get yourself in trouble with the taxman, possibly in two countries at the same time!
 

Gedimin

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So many successful boating businesses around and such a disbelief in this thread 😄 that's ok, I was only curious about salaries and the advice was provided as something around 100-250 per day. I assume if there is more steady workload across the year, skippers are likely to appreciate smaller payment per day as instead they are getting job security with regular monthly salary. And I guess mates in this economic environment are happy with very little pay while having expenses paid and getting a lot of experience.
 

capnsensible

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So many successful boating businesses around and such a disbelief in this thread 😄 that's ok, I was only curious about salaries and the advice was provided as something around 100-250 per day. I assume if there is more steady workload across the year, skippers are likely to appreciate smaller payment per day as instead they are getting job security with regular monthly salary. And I guess mates in this economic environment are happy with very little pay while having expenses paid and getting a lot of experience.
Yeah, there is always a lot of negative in these kinda threads. Most people are, quite rightly, risk averse and want to spend their lives in steady, reliable work. I'm happy for them.
But, of course, there are those that like the risk involved, can exploit their talents......and still enjoy sailing.
 

RobbieW

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So many successful boating businesses around and such a disbelief in this thread 😄 that's ok, I was only curious about salaries and the advice was provided as something around 100-250 per day. I assume if there is more steady workload across the year, skippers are likely to appreciate smaller payment per day as instead they are getting job security with regular monthly salary. And I guess mates in this economic environment are happy with very little pay while having expenses paid and getting a lot of experience.
Heres another way of looking at it - as a charter/training skipper you're responsible for your clients 24/7. At UK miniumum wage thats a little more than £200/day. As an employed or self employed skipper, why would I want to work for less? As the business owner its a different question.
 

mainsail1

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Yeah, there is always a lot of negative in these kinda threads. Most people are, quite rightly, risk averse and want to spend their lives in steady, reliable work. I'm happy for them.
But, of course, there are those that like the risk involved, can exploit their talents......and still enjoy sailing.
The OP needs to know how it really is. I have been there and done it and I know people in the business now. It is a hobby business in the UK and always will be. Maybe Gibraltar is nirvana but I suspect not.
 
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capnsensible

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What nonsense. The OP needs to know how it really is. I have been there and done it and I know people in the business now. It is a hobby business in the UK and always will be. Maybe Gibraltar is nirvana but I suspect not.
Maybe it simply wasn't for you. Calling it nonsense is rather an odd thing when people can clearly make it work. I don't get where you are coming from with this attitude, I'm afraid.
Not sure what it's got to do with Gibraltar either?
 

jwilson

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If you are looking to own a 35-45 ft yacht and charter it out skippered you are unlikely ever to make much real imcome after expenses. One big bill for a major problem could cause real difficulty. You may break even and will probably have an interesting but quite stressful life.

However once you get all the right qualifications to run someone else's superyacht can be very well paid indeed - zero outgoings and a very good salary.
 

mainsail1

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Maybe it simply wasn't for you. Calling it nonsense is rather an odd thing when people can clearly make it work. I don't get where you are coming from with this attitude, I'm afraid.
Not sure what it's got to do with Gibraltar either?
You are right, calling your view nonsense was wrong. To you it was sense.
The penny has dropped! Your expectations of financial gain are much lower than mine. So in your world you are probably correct and I should have realised that before posting.
 

capnsensible

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You are right, calling your view nonsense was wrong. To you it was sense.
The penny has dropped! Your expectations of financial gain are much lower than mine. So in your world you are probably correct and I should have realised that before posting.
Well I can say what I've seen. Everyone who tries this are keen sailors and want to make money from it. Then, as far as I can tell, there are broadly speaking, two main ways people go about it.

The first are those that sail the way they want to and kinda expect customers to fall into line or that's it. These tend to not do so well.

The other type sail with the customers interests first and their own sailing second. These are the ones that tend to do well. Diversity is a very useful tool. Coupled with a good knowledge of how to use modern Facebook and Twitter etc advertising, links with other tourist venues like hotels also work. It's a lot of effort. I think people underspend on mainstream advertising too. A lesson it took me a while to learn. You gotta go and get them.

So in my view, if you want to earn a living from sailing, be prepared for a lot of hard work and extend your income by teaching at Recognised Training Centres and looking for delivery work of any kind. It can be done. But it won't be a regular income stream, like any small trader, really.

Good luck to the OP and anyone else who gives it a shot.
 

duncan99210

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Well I can say what I've seen. Everyone who tries this are keen sailors and want to make money from it. Then, as far as I can tell, there are broadly speaking, two main ways people go about it.

The first are those that sail the way they want to and kinda expect customers to fall into line or that's it. These tend to not do so well.

The other type sail with the customers interests first and their own sailing second. These are the ones that tend to do well. Diversity is a very useful tool. Coupled with a good knowledge of how to use modern Facebook and Twitter etc advertising, links with other tourist venues like hotels also work. It's a lot of effort. I think people underspend on mainstream advertising too. A lesson it took me a while to learn. You gotta go and get them.

So in my view, if you want to earn a living from sailing, be prepared for a lot of hard work and extend your income by teaching at Recognised Training Centres and looking for delivery work of any kind. It can be done. But it won't be a regular income stream, like any small trader, really.

Good luck to the OP and anyone else who gives it a shot.
Good explanation of what your experience is and a degree of expectation management. Your description of needing to be at the top of your game for marketing rings true and was the major factor in my deciding not to go down the route. If I were facing the same decisions now, with better access to mobile internet and a son in law who does internet marketing as a business, then I might be taking somewhat different decisions.
I know two people who make their living in the leisure end of the boating market. One runs a RTC selling courses either sea or shore based. He’s been on the point of quitting for a few years now but frankly he loves the life so much I doubt he’s going to quit any time soon. It’s very much a family business, with his wife and son all on the team. But as he‘ll happily tell you, he makes enough to live on but that’s it.
The other person once spent his life as merchant captain. He was asked by a crewing agency to work as a relief super yacht captain for a few weeks. He enjoyed it and only worked on those vessels from then until he retired. The money was excellent, tips even more so but the tales he told of the bovine excreta he dealt with on a daily basis would have been beyond me, no matter how much money it meant....
 

mbroom

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I looked at this a few years ago, but quickly changed my mind. It’s interesting that no posters said that a small boat skipper could earn £10k; 20k or whatever. I think that unless you are very lucky that you will barely scrape a living. Ok for those of us with good investments or pensions, but minimum wage or less for most people despite having fairly high qualifications and responsibilities. There’s too many well heeled applicants....
 

john_morris_uk

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The other person once spent his life as merchant captain. He was asked by a crewing agency to work as a relief super yacht captain for a few weeks. He enjoyed it and only worked on those vessels from then until he retired. The money was excellent, tips even more so but the tales he told of the bovine excreta he dealt with on a daily basis would have been beyond me, no matter how much money it meant....
I’ve been offered the chance to move to a captains post in the super yacht industry several times but having worked on the fringe as an examiner and occasionally an instructor of super yacht crews and captains I’ve heard too many stories of the extremely unpleasant side of the industry. If you can land yourself a plumb job on a boat that only the family use, and they’re honest and generous and nice people you can have a wonderful time but all too often you end up with a boat that’s in charter to deeply unpleasant people with more money than they know what to do with and no amount of cash will tempt me to put up with some of the brown sticky stuff crews have to put up with from some charterers.
 

Uricanejack

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A simple question with no easy answer.
having contemplated and even worked within the sailing world.

My first comment would be what return are you looking for.
Can a living be made? Can a business be successful? Certainly some people do make a successful go of it.

For others it’s a lifestyle.
For me it was partially just for fun though for 2 brief periods it was my main income.
reality and return to regular life, convinced me sailing is best enjoyed as an amateur.

It’s always been at the back of my mind to return to semi professional sailing when I decide to pull the plug and retire.
I personally really enjoyed sail training.
Can a reasonable living be made, debatable depends what you call a reasonable living. Problem not a lot of positions,
I also enjoyed being a sailing instructor. I have an open invitation to return to this when I am ready,
200 bucks a day appears to be ball park, for part time work.
For me it will be for fun and expierience.

Supper yachts don’t appeal to me, for my reasons.
I know quite a few people who have dipped thier toe in and worked for a while. Most have given a positive review of the life as ok for a short expierience.
Probably a biased opinion as all of them are ex super yacht crew. Rather than currently active.
Remuneration can be very good.
Qualifications. Can vary greatly.
Job security virtually non existent.
I don’t really want to retire from a good full time job to take up another full time job.

So if you happen to have a supper yacht and you are looking for a part time relief guy who will only show up if and when he fells like it.
I might be your guy, salary negotiable, depends on how much I feel like it.

Truth they don’t offer enough. For a position I’d be interested in.

Deliveries, clearly some make a living at it,
Organizing deliveries probably the best way to go. Or working for an established company.
A friend and I contemplated this.
Got a few contracts, and having a good pool of crew, the embugarnce factor was to high for the return.

What is a good rate to charge? I’ve no idea. We won contract by not charging enough to make it worth while.
I suck at running a business.
Running a business is hard work. I am not looking for hard work.

Employment by en established business is the only viable option for me.
Or sub contractor to established business.

Working as a sailing instructor for my friends established sailing school making a few bucks. Mostly I would be doing this to enjoying meeting people and sailing on some nice boats. For fun. Not to make a living.

There is a lot to be said for working at something you enjoy, if you can find a way to make sailing work and enjoy it. Go for it.

For me I found much more lucrative work I enjoyed, which enables me to go sailing when I want to.

One important consideration, I work because I have to. Even though I am very fortunate. I enjoy my work. It is still work.
I go sailing because I want to.
 
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Kelpie

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I think one of the reasons this topic tends to be divisive is that users of this forum can have vastly different expectations of what constitutes a viable income.
I remember one well known forumite casually dropping into a discussion that "£100k is not a lot of money these days".

FWIW I spent a couple of seasons working on a (motor) tourist boat. Day rate was the most money I have ever earned. But income for the year was only a little over £10k, because it was a short season with lots of days cancelled due to weather. It suited me at the time since I had things I needed to do with all that time off.
 

JumbleDuck

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However, Mebbe a better question is 'can a reasonable living be made'. The answer to that is of course, like any smal business. As long as you are prepared to work hard, be able to deal with an ever changing public and be very good at what you do. 😎
Didn't you have a sailing school at one time?
 
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